Smoothies are a great way to get the fruits and vegetables you need to be healthy and happy. The problem with smoothies, however, is all the prep time it takes to make them. Washing and cutting fruits and vegetables, cleaning up when you are done, it all takes time, and sometimes you don't have that extra time, especially first thing in the morning when you need it most.
But what if you could just grab a bag of smoothie ingredients out of the freezer and throw it in your blender? Sounds too simple, doesn't it? The truth is that an hour or so of work on the weekend can yield you fresh smoothies for the next month or more. Just place the ingredients for individual smoothies in quart sized freezer bags, label the bags, and place them in the freezer until ready to use. Here are two easy recipes to get you started.
- 1/2 c. kale or spinach, chopped
- 1/4 c. fresh parsley, chopped
- 1/2 apple, peeled and chopped
- 1/2 banana, peeled and chopped
This recipe makes one smoothie. If you are making up a bunch of freezer bags at once, just multiply these quantities by however many servings you want to make.
To prepare the smoothie, pour the ingredients from the freezer bag into your blender (no need to thaw first) and add 1 cup of water and blend until smooth. Prepared smoothies will last for about 24 hours in the refrigerator without noticeable loss in quality.
You can also add yogurt to this recipe, if desired. Either add a big spoonful when you prepare the smoothie, or if you would like to freeze the yogurt, then place spoonfuls of yogurt into ice cube trays and freeze. Remove yogurt cubes from freezer and add to smoothie bags.
Fruit and Yogurt Smoothies
These smoothies are great if you are trying to get your kids to eat more fruit. You don't even need to add sugar to it.
- 2 c. fresh fruit, chopped (strawberries, blueberries, peaches, bananas, apples)
- 1/2 c. yogurt
This recipe makes one smoothie, so multiply these amounts by how many smoothies you want to make.
Freeze the yogurt ahead of time by pouring it into ice cube trays. When the yogurt is frozen, add a couple of yogurt cubes to each smoothie bag along with the fresh fruit. Label each bag and place in freezer until ready to serve.
To prepare, pour contents of smoothie bag into blender and add 1 cup of water. Blend until smooth.
When you are shopping for these recipes, consider buying ingredients in bulk. Wholesale grocery stores offer bulk quantities of fruits, vegetables, and yogurt for sometimes much reduced prices.
If you or your kids are new to smoothies, then start with the fruit version and then start adding a few leaves of spinach or kale for added nutrition. You will find that the vegetables do not have much taste at all when mixed with the fruits. Give these easy smoothie recipes a try, and you will only need a minute or two in the morning to make one!
Copyright 2013, Creative Homemaking, LLC. This article may not be reprinted.
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